View Full Version : Warlock The Warlock Thread (Cataclysm 4.0.3a+)

12-09-2010, 09:37 AM
Also: THIS IS NOT A GUIDE, maybe I'll write one once we get a bit deeper in cata and/or this thread gets more response, but right now this is more of a discussion explaining what I've been doing so far vs. what I've seen vs. what you all are doing so far. I may be doing it wrong, if I am show me some evidence so we can better inform any warlocks that read this site!

So... the only way I've found really in depth information on warlocks so far is by digging through the simcraft code of http://elitistjerks.com/f80/t110222-simulationcraft_warlocks_cataclysm_edition/ so I thought I'd start a discussion here about warlocks.

First: Spec.

Basically I started out with a base 0/0/31 in the destro tree, I lay out my talents like this:

The only difference between what I've done in the destro tree and what the simcraft guys do is they pick up searing pain and don't take bane of havoc or shadowburn. I can understand not taking shadowburn, I almost never ever use it, but I think bane of havoc gives a lot of utility, especially if there are two things that need to be burned down and I also almost never use searing pain. Maybe this is bad, but when messing around with it I've never seen significant DPS gains and usually hitting soulburn and spamming searing pain gives you threat problems.

However after the destro tree there are some noticeable differences because I went 7 deep in affliction to get jinx (helps raid rather than self) and they dive into the demonology tree and pick up mana feed (more mana for yourself). Now... this is the main thing I'm struggling with because I feel like CoE being able to affect everything in the raid without having to re-apply it every time there's an add is a good thing, but conversely I drain my mana a lot faster now. But, lifetap also gives me an f*** ton of mana, but probably b/c I'm spec'd into it. Has anyone messed around with mana feed? If it is significant enough that you wouldn't have to life tap then I'll buy into it, but if you do have to stop and life tap, then you're going to use fewer globals tapping up mana with imp LT than with mana feed.

The other thing seems to be this lingering question, that perhaps someone can answer for me that I can't find solid theorycrafting evidence for yet. And that is:

Now in my spec I put 1 point into imp corruption and 2 into gloom and doom. I almost always have bane of doom on the boss, 1 cast for 60 seconds, pet proc, does good damage per cast time etc. The only time I ever cast corruption is when I'm running, so a point in it to get to Jinx seems legitimate. However the simcraft folks put all 3 points into imp corruption.

Why? I feel like with mastery, corruption is not going to be worth the globals and DPCT unless you are running, whereas since bane of doom is only 1 global every minute, even if it slightly underperforms in raw damage, wouldn't it overall be better if you don't have to be using 3 globals a minute for corruption, and if you get to cast BoD on the run, then it all cancels out anyways, right? This however is pure speculation and what I've experienced, but I don't have any raw numbers to back it up. I'm not sure I trust all the simcrafts and spreadsheets because they typically only take into account the ideal situations where you just sit there and pew pew, I mean the warlock spreadsheet for 3.3 said that my lock in like 245- gear should have been doing 13k DPS outside of ICC, haha, ya right.

Anyhoo: my final spec ends up being: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#IrRZcZIrbcRbsRdo:zoVbzczcM

The Simcraft Folks Final spec ends up being: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#I0hZcbbZIrrcMbsRbo:zoVbzczcM

There's another thing I'd like to talk about. This new spell: Fel Flame. It seems fun but... the initial applied damage of immolate is more than fel flame, and since the GCD and immolates cast time are the same... there seems no real raiding purpose to fel flame except maybe if you have to run b/c of something and immolate is about to fall, you fel flame and conflag or something. Other than that this spell seems completely useless for destro PvE. Does anyone have any evidence to the contrary? I'm more than willing to listen.

Next on the docket: Gemming.

This gem is interesting: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=73465
Because the new best meta gem requires more blue gems than red gems, this, I think makes the gemming scheme a lot more interesting once you have hit cap with just raw gear. Until we reach hit camp I think we'll be just saturated in blue gems and this isn't going to be a problem, but when it does become a problem do we start gemming mastery (yellow gem) instead of intellect? That way as long as we have one blue gem and no red gems we meet the meta requirement? Does anyone have any numbers on this or know where I can find numbers on this? So far I haven't really seem much comparing the two gemming schemes.

Let the discussion begin!


12-09-2010, 12:01 PM
glad to see you're still playing agg =D

12-12-2010, 11:22 AM
I agree with your speccing. Don't see the point in searing pain really..maybe one will arise. Far as the extra points into afflic/demo its kinda a toss up. Far as gems go i think in early tier it seems like once your hit cap, intel will be pretty nice. Possibly mastery/haste. I heard crit isn't very good right now due to scaling issues. I'll probably end up going intel/mastery tbh.

12-12-2010, 04:14 PM
you can't do haste/mastery gems because they're both yellow.

I currently have 2 specs and am running with both my spec and the EJ spec. It seems like the mana feed is pretty nice and my biggest DPS records (around 11k DPS) have been with the EJ spec, but I also haven't done the same bosses with the jinx spec. The utility of Jinx is kind of... not there for most boss fights I feel. It's just as easy to put CoE on the add, and if you have boomkins or DKs, then its even more superfluous.

So I like Mana feed, so I like 3/7/51, but the question for me becomes where to put those 3 points in aff.

I REALLY like imp life tap. It both saves healer mana, which seems to be a huge issue, because they don't have to heal you so much, and it's faster to get back to DPSing. That and I'm still not convinced about imp corruption. Even when I've turned out the most DPS, my uptime on corruption hasn't been that good. I kind of want to try 2/2 imp LT and then putting a point somewhere else, do I go imp corr or doom and gloom?

12-15-2010, 08:27 PM
Not many responses... but... I've been holding with the 3/7/31 spec and it seems to be doing good, I did about 13.6k DPS on Argaloth, but I don't have a prase yet so idk what my uptimes on corruption have been, but it feels like when it falls my dps goes down.

I need to do some target dummy testing once finals are over, I'll be sure to post findings here when it's done.

12-15-2010, 10:42 PM
From last i heard the meta gem requirements would be hotfixed to as they were previously. But that was months ago.

12-15-2010, 11:18 PM
The post I saw said it would be a content patch, it wasn't something they could hotfix.

12-16-2010, 09:46 AM
I have read about the destruction talents you are using but you havent gone into demonology or affliction yet?

I must say that affliction is a fun spec with good dmg now since fights are longer and you have to move around alot on some fights where dots are really useful.

About Fel flame, as affliction it is very handy since its an instant cast (compared to the casttime on unstable affliction) which is needed sometimes when you dont have the time to stand still and cast unstable affliction, its only a 6 second prolonging but it gives you time to move, cast something more useful i.e a cc breaks or haunt, bane of agony or something other that needs refresh. And the gcd is short on Fel flame so you can keep doing that one if its a complicated fight with lots of moving around.

Now i have only tried a few dungeons on heroic but fear with glyph is a good tool for cc and even improved fear is useful at some points since you get the slowing effect. I have never used Curse of exhaustion in lich king...well maybe once or twice but in cataclysm i use it all the time.

And most important, the new spell Soul swap...its not only a cool thing to use but its a huge difference using that now, i.e bossfight adds are coming, use soulswap for instant dmg and get your dots up real fast.

12-16-2010, 09:54 AM

What is your spell rotation?



12-16-2010, 09:57 AM
Agg blizzard stated they're gonna be changing http://www.wowhead.com/spell=73465 to what Chaotic Skyflare used to be since they didn't mean to change it in the first place.

12-17-2010, 02:40 AM
I haven't spec'd aff or demo yet. I've never really liked the playstyles of those classes, and what the current theorycraft numbers are coming out to say is that aff/demo/destro are all roughly even, with destro in the lead, aff second, and demo 3rd. Demo apparently has a pretty complex rotation required in order to compete with aff or destro, and destro looks like it's scaling better with gear, so it will take the lead ahead of aff in progression content. Since destro is my favorite spec to play, I'll stick with that.

My rotation is currently a work in progress, as is my spec. I am actually running a 3rd spec that is very similar to the one that Tragik over at warlock den is running. He goes 5/5/31, where the 5 points in affliction are in doom and gloom and imp corruption and the points in demo are in Dark Arts and Fel Synergy. My current spec takes the points out of fel synergy and puts them into improved life tap. Mana is a problem because sometimes your healers start to run out of mana and it gets increasingly harder to lifetap for mana if the healer is pressed, so either improved lifetap or mana feed seem to be nice to pick up and I think the "optimal dps" is going to be to pick up both doom and gloom and improved corruption, then imp lifetap = less downtime = more dps and less healer mana converted to your mana =P.

The reason my rotation is kind of a work in progress is because of how I just re-itemized my gear. Before I was reading that the stat priority was going to be int > mastery > haste > crit, however (and to some logical point it makes sense) there is new theorycrafting coming out saying that the order would be int > crit > mastery > haste for destro. Reason being is that we get a lot of benefits from crit and can more easily hit haste soft caps b/c of backdraft and improved soulfire. HOWEVER, when I reforged away from haste and into crit, my cast time on soulfire when soulburn is down to get the haste buff, is ROUGH. You have to try and time it so that you still have the 15% haste when you start casting soulfire but that the imp soulfire buff falls before soulfire hits the target in order to refresh it. It's kind of a pain in the ass and if you clip that it takes a LONG TIME to cast soulfire.

So ya... my current rotation is:

CoE (if needed)
Then some combination of (and usually in this order but I'm seeing if that order really matters):
Soulfire (soulburned if it's up)
chaos bolt
conflag (chaos before conflag due to lag issues with immolate and conflag recognizing it can be cast)
shadow bolt (only once every 30 seconds to get the 5% crit buff up IF it's not already provided by someone else)
incinerate spam

From here I move to a spell priority system:
Soulfire Buff
Shadow bolt if needed

I only ever cast shadow bolt if it's on a backdraft proc, otherwise it's just way too long of a cast time for destro.

Fel Flame is REALLY circumstantial, basically I only use fel flame if I'm moving, Corruption or BoD don't need to be refreshed, conflag is down, there are no soulfire procs and I'm above 80% mana.

With this rotation I'm doing about 11k+ dps in heroics on stand and nuke bosses and a little above 13.5k dps on boss fights like Argaloth. I have about 345 average ilevel and am hit capped for raids. I haven't gotten to raid since I reforged my gear towards crit instead of mastery/haste.

And yes, glyph of fear is an absolute must, all warlocks should have it.

I have some fun macros to go along with the fear CCing that helps minimize my pet attacking the target I'm trying to fear... blizzard really should add an innate script for imps to not attack feared targets, imo. =P

Okay... I gotta go study for my last final that's happening in about 4 hours. I may post back later today.

12-17-2010, 08:37 PM
Nice post, very thorough. If people are looking for more gear-related content to go along with your information, I have compiled a gearing guide of sorts for warlocks, over at:


It contains a lot of information on enchants, professions, stat weightings, and the top 3-5 items per slot per tier.

Seems like it would make a perfect pairing with your post.

12-18-2010, 12:29 AM
Definitely some good info in that, I just bookmarked it!

12-21-2010, 02:06 PM
Im terrible at macros, would you be willing to share your CC macros? It's getting rather annoying having to use my pet passive/pet attack macro every time i want to fear something.

12-22-2010, 05:46 PM
Don't have any macros but as far as having your pet attack w/o breaking fear i might be able to suggest something. You can make a macro for whatever ability you start your rotation off with. For myself it would be immolate. You make it so that it casts immolate and your pet attack at teh same time. Keep your pet on passive anytime you don't want it to have a chance of breaking cc. So when you cc it is still on passive while when you start casting immolate it will kick in and start attacking your target.

/cast Immolate
/cast Pet attack

I think that would work but you maybe have to make pet attack look like "Petattack" i can't remember if its all one word. This is just a simple suggestion. Obviously you can get a lot more complicated with it.

I assume this would still work. I used the same macro for my hunter at one point, put hunter's mark and pet attack on the same button.

12-22-2010, 05:53 PM
I've only ran with one other warlock in heroics so far and he was demo. I think most fights i beat him but it was pretty comparable dps. I'm destro atm. Spec is rolling 7/3/31. I'm thinking of switch to mana feed though. The points in affliction to me will have to go to doom and gloom. I don't use corruption in my dps rotation and hopefully the mana from mana feed would let me life tap less.

Currently life tap like 10 times a boss fight in a heroic which feels like a lot. But typically if i have a solid rotation and keep ISF up i can pull 13k-14k on a tank and spank. Highest is 18.7k on Steelbender heroic with BL.

Far as gems go i'm still wondering about it. Currently gemming towards hit/intel until i am close to the cap. I heard its impossible or atleast not probable to reach hit cap. You sacrifice to many other stats attempting to get there.

12-28-2010, 12:27 PM
New ghostcrawler post stated that shadow and flame is being changed and now procs from Incinerate as well as shadow bolt. Hell yes.

01-01-2011, 01:32 AM
Ya thats going to be real nice. Now i can continue to not shadow bolt but a get a buff for it.

01-04-2011, 12:18 PM
I recently did 10 man Baradin hold for the first time and came out with 14.5k dps. Used this spec http://www.wowhead.com/talent#IdZcbbZIrbcRbsRdo:zVozbc

Kept up ISF for the most part and used your typical priority system but i wasn't keeping Bane of Doom up at 100% up time so that hurt my dps alittle i'm sure. Had a BL with Volcanic potions popped before the fight started and during BL with enhanced intel (80 intellect flask) on.

Gear wise i lack 2.70 hit to be capped but i think i only missed 2-3 times the whole fight, one or two were fel flame which i spam during the 66% and 33% phases of fel storm. ilvl of 347. That dps didn't seem to bad. I'm sure it could be higher than that.

Kinda wondering what i should reforge to besides a bit more hit. I've read that crit is some what higher than haste but not by much and that can depend on your gear as well.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/anvilmar/nekamaki/simple armory link if anyone wants to peak at it.

01-05-2011, 03:48 PM
Kawdi, that's the spec I am currently using.

I did baradin hold last night and it finally confirmed more warlocking theories, here's some main bullet points:

- Mastery sucks. Crit and haste all the way. I reforged mastery to hit until cap, or on gear where there was already hit I reforged mastery to crit.
- Shadowflame rocks. It's DPCT for single targets is actually slightly higher than corruption. Use it.
- I've said it before but keeping up ISF is absolutely critical. You want ISF + Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp - time spent moving = 90%+ if at all possible. Another thing I've noticed about this, is that your effective uptime can be slightly higher than the actual uptime. The haste speed of the cast time of soulfire doesn't change if ISF drops half way through the cast, so even if there's half a second left on ISF when you cast a new soul fire, for the entire 2 second duration of the cast, the ISF cast is still as if you had 15% haste, if that makes any sense. If people are confused I'll try to re-explain it

The macros I said I'd post but didn't get around to:

#showtooltip immolate
/cast Immolate


#showtooltip Fear
/cast [target=focus] Fear

As long as you recast fear after each target dies, this should ensure that your pet only attacks your desired target and not your feared target. Obviously this macro uses focus so you can stay on the kill target while still fearing your CC target.

Here's the WoL report from Argaloth 25 man that I did. Let me know if anyone has any questions:
http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/qol2sblzdzlbvpz1/sum/damageDone/?s=1055&e=1341 (I'm Irylath, btw)

01-05-2011, 09:38 PM
Thanks. I just reforged last night up to .40 under hit cap. Reforged to mostly crit on things that had mastery.

01-17-2011, 10:37 AM
I was wondering why people do not choose shadowburn in their spec? Most fights have some sort of add. With those adds i can use my soulburn a little more freely considering shadowburn on an add < 5 seconds to its death. Then i replenish my shards. not so useful on fights with 0 adds or short enrage timers but still just wondering. Also i will pre proc my soulburn and then harvest a second before the tank pulls starting the encounter off with a instant soulfire.

About the jinx i personally like the talent i dont normally have to many mana issues. I am debating on pulling the aftermath points and placing them into the nether protection. even at 1 point its a nice passive defense mechanic to have. Corruption i have noticed a ok dps gain if i try and use and fit in. What i struggle with is my shadowflame pvp boss and magmaw not so much.

one big question i am not sure on are the glyphs i am trying out chaosbolt right now it is nice to have on a shorter timer. However i was wondering how much of an improvement would incin or imp glyphs be if any? link to my armory


01-19-2011, 08:28 PM
I personally think Imp is a better glyph between that and incinerate. I choose conflag > chaos bolt but i think that glyph really doesn't matter that much. Personal choice really. Far as aftermath goes i pulled it out of my spec soon as i hit 85 for dungeons/raiding. PVP is probably isn't a bad choice or for a questing spec but for raiding i don't see much use unless its a specific fight. I picked up nether protection for the survivability. I typically stay at higher HP than most and require less healing in dungeons, and i figure that talent and soul leech help the healers a lot.

On the shadowburn subject i do have it in my spec but i rarely think to use it...cause i'm baddie.

10-26-2011, 03:29 PM
Some don't like to preburn sould shard and use harvest as it can proc power torrent and be wasted at start of the fight, also for longer end game fights like heroic rag, the replinishment of soulshards is very usefull for instant cast soulburns etc. Thats why I have shadowburn in my spec.